Classical Theory Class notes

Classical Theory Class notes - Classical Theory Class notes...

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Classical Theory Class notes Days Missed: 0 Grades 1/17/08 The mystique of Complexity + the Sociological Imagination -ability to see relationship between self and society The social questions that drive us (sources) o Economics, politics, cultural, race, gender Theory as a tool- a way of seeing Society as Object Assumptions -world can be empirically studied -universal laws to be discovered Goals -explain all aspects of life -predict -control Elements of Early Theorizing -Abstract Concepts -explicit definitions -relational statements (propositional statements) -greater the wealth and inequality the greater political inequality Society as a web of Signification (allows for an Interpretive Theory) Values Critical Perspective -criticize some aspect of society and lobby for change -deconstruct/ challenge theories - Utopian vision Descriptive Perspective -no social critique -how the social world works
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Key Terms Age of Enlightenment : the realization that human reason can be used to guide society Ontology : the study of being Epistemology: studies the nature of knowledge, in particular its foundation, scope and validity Positivism : set of assumptions based on two ideas progress and Things to pay attention to in reading Contents of Theory Capacity to experience a new perspective Key questions that are raised by these theorists Reading Chapter 1 and 2 by Tuesday in Allen Text Read Chapter 3 in Allen text Read chapter 4 and 5 in other book for 31 st *Exam 1 Feb 5* 1/22/08 Herbert Spencer 1820-1903 -Early Impact on Sociology -Spencer set the stage for initial formation of sociological theory - first person to believe/explore there is something other than faith/god that drive social forces/laws that govern the social world -he wrote in English so his work was easily accessible -he offered a scientific orientation that was quite attractive to the public - social Darwinism- survival of the fittest -great impact on William Graham Sumner -credited with teaching first sociology course in US
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-His “organicism” - societies operate like the human body whereas each part of the body serve a function of the greater whole - spencer believed that if society is left to its own devices and the state does not intervene society will naturally correct itself
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Classical Theory Class notes - Classical Theory Class notes...

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